Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta) at National Aviary by Dan
I am like a pelican of the wilderness; I am like an owl of the desert. (Psalms 102:6 NKJV)
Previously, it was mentioned that some bird families have already been featured on the Sunday Inspirations. The next family includes the Herons and Bitterns. It is the Ardeidae, and it was covered in these two articles written in 2014:
Today we will finish up the Pelicaniformes Order, which included the Ibises and Spoonbills [Threskiornithidae], the Herons and Bitterns [Ardeidae], and now today with; the Hamerkop (1) with only one species in the Scopidae family, the Shoebill (1) in the Balaenicipitidae Family, and the Pelicans (8) in the Pelecanidae Family.
[Because this is being scheduled in advance, Lord willing, my back surgery will be performed on this Tuesday, the 20th. Your prayers will be greatly welcome. It will be a 4-5 hour surgery. I think.]
Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta) by Africaddict
The Hamerkop, have been a favorite of mine ever since we saw our first one at the National Aviary in Pittsburg, PA. When its head feathers are out, the head looks like a hammer. They also seemed rather tame walking around in the aviary.
Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex) by Daves BirdingPix
The Shoebill is another favorite. We have these at the Lowry Park Zoo, in Tampa. I keep trying to get a decent photo, but I have to shoot through a fence. Though, the fence is nice to have between us. He is a nice bird, but that look can be intimidating. :) Here is a close-up taken through the fence.
Shoebill by Lee – Closeup
Living in Florida, we all see Pelicans quite frequently, even inland. The White Pelicans land at many of our lakes, and several years ago, over 5,000 landed at Circle B Reserve in Lakeland, Florida, for a month or so. I’ve shown this video before but thought it fit here again. I was so excited by all of them arriving to land just behind where Dan and I were standing. My utter amazement shows. [along with poor English]
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthew 6:25-26 NKJV)
Brown Pelican with fish and Laughing Gull
Pelicans are a genus of large water birds that makes up the family Pelecanidae. They are characterised by a long beak and a large throat pouch used for catching prey and draining water from the scooped up contents before swallowing. They have predominantly pale plumage, the exceptions being the brown and Peruvian pelicans. The bills, pouches and bare facial skin of all species become brightly coloured before the breeding season. The eight living pelican species have a patchy global distribution, ranging latitudinally from the tropics to the temperate zone, though they are absent from interior South America as well as from polar regions and the open ocean.
White Pelicans by Lee over Circle B Reserve
Pelicans frequent inland and coastal waters where they feed principally on fish, catching them at or near the water surface. They are gregarious birds, travelling in flocks, hunting cooperatively and breeding colonially. Four white-plumaged species tend to nest on the ground, and four brown or grey-plumaged species nest mainly in trees
“God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet: and setteth me upon my high places.
(2 Samuel 22:33-34 KJV)”
“and for a long time birds and hedgehogs, and ibises and ravens shall dwell in it: and the measuring line of desolation shall be cast over it, and satyrs shall dwell in it. (Isaiah 34:11 Brenton)”
The family Threskiornithidae includes 34 species of large wading birds. The family has been traditionally classified into two subfamilies, the ibises and the spoonbills; however recent genetic studies are casting doubt on the arrangement and revealing the spoonbills to be nested within the ibises.
Australian White Ibis (Threskiornis molucca) by Ian
Members of the family have long, broad wings with 11 primary feathers and about 20 secondaries. They are strong fliers and, rather surprisingly, given their size and weight, very capable soarers. The body tends to be elongated, the neck more so, with rather long legs. The bill is also long, decurved in the case of the ibises, straight and distinctively flattened in the spoonbills. They are large birds, but mid-sized by the standards of their order, ranging from the dwarf olive ibis (Bostrychia bocagei), at 45 cm (18 in) and 450 g (0.99 lb), to the giant ibis (Thaumatibis gigantea), at 100 cm (39 in) and 4.2 kg (9.3 lb).
They are distributed almost worldwide, being found near almost any area of standing or slow-flowing fresh or brackish water. Ibises are also found in drier areas, including landfills.
All ibises are diurnal; spending the day feeding on a wide range of invertebrates and small vertebrates: ibises by probing in soft earth or mud, spoonbills by swinging the bill from side to side in shallow water. At night, they roost in trees near water. They are gregarious, feeding, roosting, and flying together, often in formation.
African Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus) by Lee at LPZoo
Threskiornis is a genus of ibises, wading birds of the family Threskiornithidae. They occur in the warmer parts of the Old World in southern Asia, nest in a tree or bush and lay two to four eggs. They occur in marshy wetlands and feed on various fish, frogs, crustaceans and insects. The species in this genus are the; African sacred ibis, T. aethiopicus, Malagasy sacred ibis, T. bernieri, Reunion ibis T. solitarius (extinct), Black-headed ibis, T. melanocephalus, Australian white ibis, T. moluccus, Solomons white ibis, T. m. pygmaeus, and theStraw-necked ibis, T. spinicollis.
The bird genus Pseudibis consists of two South-East Asian species in the ibis subfamily, Threskiornithinae. The giant ibis is also sometimes placed in this genus. Red-naped Ibis, Pseudibis papillosa andWhite-shouldered Ibis, Pseudibis davisoni. The white-shouldered ibis is critically endangered.
Southern Bald Ibis (Geronticus calvus) by Dan at Lowry Park Zoo
The small bird genus Geronticus belongs to the ibis subfamily (Threskiornithinae). Its name is derived from the Greek gérontos (γέρωντος, “old man”) in reference to the bald head of these dark-plumaged birds; in English, they are called bald ibises.
Geronticus contains two living species. The northern bald ibis (G. eremita) has a neck crest of elongated feathers. It is a Critically Endangered species found around the Mediterranean. Its range had expanded after the last glacial period to the Alps of Germany and even a bit further north, but it was rendered extinct there mainly due to habitat destruction and unsustainable hunting. The southern bald ibis (G. calvus) with a red crown patch but no crest is classified as Vulnerable and is found in subtropical southern Africa.
Nipponia– The crested ibis (Nipponia nippon), also known as the Japanese crested ibis or toki (トキ?), variously written in kanji as 朱鷺, 鴇, 鵇 or 鴾, and written in hanzi as 朱䴉 or 朱鷺, is a large (up to 78.5 cm (30.9 in) long), white-plumaged ibis of pine forests. Its head is partially bare, showing red skin, and it has a dense crest of white plumes on the nape. This species is the only member of the genus Nipponia.
Bostrychia is a genus of ibises in the family Threskiornithidae. Member species are found in many countries throughout Africa.
It contains the following five species:Wattled ibis (Bostrychia carunculata), Hadada ibis (Bostrychia hagedash), Olive ibis (Bostrychia olivacea), São Tomé ibis (Bostrychia bocagei), Spot-breasted ibis (Bostrychia rara)
Buff-necked Ibis (Theristicus caudatus) by Dario Sanches
Theristicus is a genus of birds in the family Threskiornithidae. They are found in open, grassy habitats in South America. All have a long, decurved dark bill, relatively short reddish legs that do not extend beyond the tail in flight (unlike e.g. Eudocimus and Plegadis), and at least the back is grey. They are the Plumbeous ibis, Theristicus caerulescens, Buff-necked ibis, Theristicus caudatus, Black-faced ibis, Theristicus melanopis, Andean ibis, Theristicus branickii,
Mesembrinibis– The green ibis (Mesembrinibis cayennensis), also known as the Cayenne ibis, is a wading bird in the ibis family Threskiornithidae. It is the only member of the genus Mesembrinibis.
This is a resident breeder from Honduras through Nicaragua, Costa Rica and western Panama, and South America to northern Argentina. It undertakes some local seasonal movements in the dry season.
Bare-faced Ibis (Phimosus infuscatus) by Robert Scanlon
Phimosus – The bare-faced ibis (Phimosus infuscatus), also known as the whispering ibis, is a species of bird in the family Threskiornithidae, in the monotypic genus Phimosus.
It is found in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Its natural habitat is swamps. The Bare-faced Ibis is either dark brown or a blackish color. It is called the Bare-faced Ibis because it does not have any feathers on its face. It has a long Decurved bill that’s pinkish to reddish brown. The skin on its face is usually a reddish color and it also has long orangely colored beak with pink legs. The total length of the ibis ranges between 45 and 50 cm.
Scarlet Ibis (Eudocimus ruber) by Dan at LPZoo
Eudocimus is a genus of ibises, wading birds of the family Threskiornithidae. They occur in the warmer parts of the New World with representatives from the southern United States south through Central America, the West Indies, and South America.
There are just two species in this genus, American White Ibis (Eudocimus albus) and Scarlet Ibis (Eudocimus ruber)
Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) by Dan’s Pix
Plegadis is a bird genus in the family Threskiornithidae. The genus name derives from Ancient Greek plegados, “sickle”, referring to the distinctive shape of the bill. Member species are found on every continent except Antarctica as well as a number of islands. The glossy ibis is easily the most widespread of the three species. Plegadis contains the following three species: Glossy Ibis, Plegadis falcinellus, , White-faced Ibis, Plegadis chihi, Puna Ibis, Plegadis ridgwayi.
Lophotibis– The Madagascan ibis (Lophotibis cristata), also known as the Madagascar crested ibis, white-winged ibis or crested wood ibis, is a medium-sized (approximately 50 cm long), brown-plumaged ibis. It has bare red orbital skin, yellow bill, red legs, white wings and its head is partially bare with a dense crest of green or gloss blue and white plumes on the nape. The Madagascan Ibis is the only member of the genus Lophotibis.
Roseate Spoonbill at Flamingo Gardens by Lee
Platalea– Spoonbills are a group of large, long-legged wading birds in the family Threskiornithidae, which also includes the ibises. The genus name platalea derives from Latin and means “broad”, referring to the distinctive shape of the bill. Six species are recognised, all either placed in a single genus or three genera. They are most closely related to the Old World ibises; Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia, Black-faced Spoonbill Platalea minor, African Spoonbill Platalea alba, Royal Spoonbill Platalea regia, Yellow-billed Spoonbill Platalea flavipes, and our local Roseate Spoonbill Platalea ajaja.
All spoonbills have large, flat, spatulate bills and feed by wading through shallow water, sweeping the partly opened bill from side to side. The moment any small aquatic creature touches the inside of the bill—an insect, crustacean, or tiny fish—it is snapped shut. Spoonbills generally prefer fresh water to salt but are found in both environments. They need to feed many hours each day.
“And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)” (Hebrews 10:21-23 KJV)
The Perdix genus has the Grey Partridge, Daurian Partridge, and the Tibetan Partridges. Perdix is a genus of Galliform gamebirds known collectively as the ‘true partridges’. The genus name is the Latin for “partridge”, and is itself derived from Ancient Greek perdix. These birds are unrelated to the subtropical species that have been named after the partridge due to similar size and morphology. There are representatives of Perdix in most of temperate Europe and Asia. One member of the genus, the grey partridge, has been introduced to the United States and Canada for the purpose of hunting. They are closely related to grouse, koklass, quail and pheasants.
Madagascan Partridge (Margaroperdix madagarensis) found only in Madagascar. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.
Black Partridge are in genus Melanoperdix. The black partridge occurs in lowland rainforests of Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo and Sumatra in southeast Asia. It was formerly found but is long extinct on Singapore. The female usually lays five to six white eggs.
The two Forest Partridges are the Udzungwa Forest Partridge and the Rubeho Forest Partridge (Xenoperdix). Both species have boldly barred plumage and a red bill. Xenoperdix are found only in forests of the Udzungwa Mountains and the Rubeho Highlands of Tanzania.
The largest genus today are Partridges in the Arborophila group. They are the Hill, Rufous-throated, White-cheeked, Taiwan Partridge, Chestnut-breasted, Bar-backed, Sichuan, White-necklaced, Orange-necked, Chestnut-headed, Siamese, Malaysian, Roll’s, Sumatran, Grey-breasted, Chestnut-bellied, Red-billed, Red-breasted, Hainan Partridge, Chestnut-necklaced , and the Green-legged Partridge. The genus has the second most members within the Galliformes after Francolinus although Arborophila species vary very little in bodily proportions with different species varying only in colouration/patterning and overall size. These are fairly small, often brightly marked partridges found in forests of eastern and southern Asia
Here is the second group of birds in the Cracidae Family. Last weeks Chachalacas were rather plain, but an interesting group. Today’s second set of species has 20 Guans and 4 Piping Guans. You will notice a little more variety and coloring in these Guans, yet the overall shapes are similiar to the Chachalacas. “The guans are a number of bird genera which make up the largest group in the family Cracidae. They are found mainly in northern South America, southern Central America, and a few adjacent Caribbean islands. There is also the peculiar horned guan (Oreophasis derbianus) which is not a true guan, but a very distinct and ancient cracid with no close living relatives (Pereira et al. 2002).”
These are distributed through 6 genera. These are the birds in the Penelope genera; Band-tailed Guan, Bearded Guan, Baudo Guan, Andean Guan, Marail Guan, Rusty-margined Guan, Red-faced Guan, Crested Guan, Cauca Guan, White-winged Guan, Spix’s Guan, Dusky-legged Guan, White-crested Guan, Chestnut-bellied Guan, and White-browed Guan
Wattled Guan is in Aburria, Black Guan and Sickle-winged Guan are in the Chamaepetes genus, Highland Guan in the Penelopina and the Horned Guan in the Oreophasis generas.
I found this additional remark in Wikipedia rather amazing. “This indicates that the guans’ origin is in the northern Andes region, in the general area of Colombia or perhaps Ecuador; the date of their initial radiation is not well resolved due to the lack of fossil evidence but can be very roughly placed around 40–25 mya (Oligocene, perhaps some time earlier). The two basal lineages diverged during the Burdigalian, around 20–15 mya.(Pereira et al. 2002)” They have no proof or fossil evidence, yet they came up with these millions of years. Their initial radiation was the day they came off of the ark., which was not millions of years ago.
“Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth. And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him: Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.” (Genesis 8:17-19 KJV)
“For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.” (Psalms 27:5 KJV)
Elegant Crested Tinamou (Eudromia elegans) Cloud Forest at Zoo Miami by Lee
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (Genesis 1:1 KJV)
We have finished up all the Passeriformes and reviewed them here with the Sunday Inspirations. That only took from February 1st of 2015 to September 25th of 2016. Of the forty orders of birds in the world, Passeriformes was the last and largest of the orders taxonomically. Today, we are going to start at the first of the bird orders. Not to panic, there is only one family in this order. We will cover it today.
Dan and I have only seen one member of this order and that was at Zoo Miami, FL
Elegant Crested Tinamou (Eudromia elegans) by Dan at Zoo Miami
“Tinamiformes is a taxonomic order of birds that are also known as Tinamou. The order is represented by only one Family Tinamidae, which consists of 47 species in 9 genera. They are short-legged, little-headed and plump-bodied. They prefer to run rather than fly to avoid danger.
The Tinamous are found only in Central and South America. They are related to the ratites (Ostriches and Rheas). Generally ground dwelling, they are found in a range of habitats from woodlands to open grassland. They prefer eating a diet of berries and seeds off the ground. They also consume insects and small animals.” (CreationWiki)
As you will notice the Tinamou are not very colorful and that is mostly because of how they live. They are very well designed by their Creator to sulk along in the underbrush.
“And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:21 KJV) Emphasis added
Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee. Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth. (Genesis 8:16-17 KJV)
All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. (1 Corinthians 15:39 KJV)
Today we finish up the Icteridae Family of New World blackbirds, New World orioles, the Bobolink, Meadowlarks, Grackles, Cowbirds, Oropendolas and Caciques, plus. Trust you enjoyed seeing the first two parts of the family. (Part I, Part II)
“All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.” (1 Corinthians 15:39 KJV)
The last 64 members of the family come from numerous Genus; the Nesopsar, Agelaius, Molothrus, Dives,Ptiloxena, Euphagus, Quiscalus, Hypopyrrhus, Lampropsar, Gymnomystax, Macroagelaius, Macroagelaius, Curaeus, Amblyramphus, Anumara, Gnorimopsar, Oreopsar, Agelaioides, Chrysomus, Xanthopsar and the Pseudoleistes. Some have only one species per genus. For many of you, the genus names mean little, but, if we mention Cowbirds, Grackles, Blackbirds, Baywings and Marshbirds, then you would recognize them that way.
Blessed be the LORD, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth. Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped. Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth. (Psalms 124:6-8 KJV)
His head is like the finest gold; His locks are wavy, And black as a raven. (Song of Solomon 5:11 NKJV)
Most casual birdwatchers do not now the name of Icteridae, but if I were to mention Blackbirds, Bobolink, Meadowlarks, Cacique, Orpendendolas, Orioles, Toupials, Grackles, Cowbirds, Baywings, and Marshbirds, you would have heard of them. Many in this Icteridae Family are very commonly seen. That is, if you live in the “New World” or Western Hemisphere, specifically the Americas (including nearby islands such as those of the Caribbean and Bermuda).
Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) by J Fenton
This family has 109 members presently (6.1 Version of I.O.C). Wikipedia says, “Icterids make up a family (Icteridae) of small to medium-sized, often colorful passerine birds restricted to the New World. Most species have black as a predominant plumage color, often enlivened by yellow, orange or red. The family is extremely varied in size, shape, behavior and coloration. The name, meaning “jaundiced ones” (from the prominent yellow feathers of many species) comes from the Ancient Greek ikteros, through the Latin ictericus.”
“Despite the similar names, the first groups are only distantly related to the Old World common blackbird (a thrush) or the Old World orioles.”
“Icterids have adapted to taking a wide range of foods. Oropendolas and caciques use their gaping motion to open the skins of fruit to obtain the soft insides, and have long bills adapted to the process. Others such as cowbirds and the bobolink have shorter stubbier bills for crushing seeds. The Jamaican blackbird uses its bill to pry amongst tree bark and epiphytes. Orioles will drink nectar.” (Wikipedia, with editing)
For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything. (1 Thessalonians 1:8 NKJV)
Long-tailed Paradise Whydah by Dan at the National Aviary
Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith. (Proverbs 15:16 KJV)
Our next families in our Passeriformes Order are small families. Because they are small in number does not mean they are small in beauty. I love the song, “Little Is Much When God Is In It.” Maybe because I am short. :) Sometimes these small groups are a result of the ornithologists not being sure which family to include them. As they (ornithologists) keep doing DNA studies, more shuffling in families will occur.
Our largest family, Viduidae, today has twenty species of Indigobirds, Whydahs, and a Cuckoo-finch. We saw our first Whydah at the National Aviary in Pittsburg, PA. It is appropriately called a Long-tailed Paradise Whydah. You can see its long tail, worn by males, in the photo. These are finch-like birds which usually have black or indigo predominating in their plumage.
All are brood parasites, which lay their eggs in the nests of estrildid finch species; most indigobirds use fire-finches as hosts, whereas the paradise whydahs chose pytilias. Unlike the cuckoo, the indigobirds and whydahs do not destroy the host’s eggs.
The Olive Warbler is the solo member of his family, (Peucedramidae), but there are several sub-species. This species breeds from southern Arizona and New Mexico, USA, south through Mexico to Nicaragua. It is the only bird family endemic to North America (including Central America).
It is an insectivorous species of coniferous forests. Though it is often said to be non-migratory, most New Mexican birds leave the state from November to late February. It lays 3–4 eggs in a tree nest”. (Wikipedia)
The Prunellidae – Accentors Family has thirteen members named Accentors and one Dunnock, of the genus, Prunella. All but the Dunnock and the Japanese Accentor are inhabitants of the mountainous regions of Europe and Asia; these two also occur in lowland areas, as does the Siberian Accentor in the far north of Siberia. This genus is not strongly migratory, but they will leave the coldest parts of their range in winter, and make altitudinal movements.
Their typical habitat is mountainous regions in an area far above the tree-line, but below the snow-line. The Himalayan accentor can be found as high as 17,000 ft above sea level when breeding, however, most accentors breed in scrub vegetation at lower levels. Most species migrate downwards to spend the winter, with only some being hardy enough to remain. Accentors spend the majority of their time in the undergrowth and even when flushed, stay low to the ground until reaching cover. (Wikipedia)
Skipping over the Wagtails and Pipits (covered next week), our last bird, the Przevalski’s Finch (Urocynchramus pylzowi), is again in a family by itself.
The Przevalski’s Finch or Przewalski’s Finch (Urocynchramus pylzowi) is an unusual passerine bird from the mountains of central-west China. The species is named for Nikolai Przhevalsky, the Russian explorer who described it. Its taxonomic affinities were unclear for a long time, giving rise to other common names, the Pink-tailed Bunting and the Przewalski’s Rosefinch. In 2000 it was proposed that it should in fact be regarded neither as a finch nor a bunting, but as the only member of the family Urocynchramidae,
Przewalski’s Finch is a small bird similar in appearance to the Long-tailed Rosefinch. The tail is long and – quite unlike in typical finches – graduated, with the outer feathers much shorter than the central ones. The sexes are sexually dimorphic, with the males having bright pink on the throat, breast and belly. Both sexes have brown streaked plumage on the back and wings. The bill is thinner than those of the rosefinches. (Wikipedia)
But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 19:14 KJV)
He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD. (Psalms 33:5 NKJV)
The Pellorneida is another neatly created family that has 70 members and are a family of mostly Old World passerine birds. They are rather diverse in size and coloration, but are characterised by soft fluffy plumage. These are birds of tropical areas, with the greatest variety in Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. The entire family was previously included in the Timaliidae.
Morphological diversity is rather high; most species resemble “warblers”, jays or thrushes.
They are small to medium-sized birds. They have strong legs, and many are quite terrestrial. They typically have generalised bills, similar to those of a thrush or warbler. Most have predominantly brown plumage, with minimal difference between the sexes, but many more brightly coloured species also exist.
This group is not strongly migratory, and most species have short rounded wings, and a weak flight. They live in lightly wooded or scrubland environments, ranging from swamp to near-desert. They are primarily insectivorous, although many will also take berries, and the larger species will even eat small lizards and other vertebrates.(Wikipedia with editing)
A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. (Proverbs 15:1 KJV)
Today we have the Figbirds, Orioles and Drongo which reside in two more Passerine families. The Pitohuis are included and are members in the Oriolidae – Figbirds, Orioles Family.
Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured. (Proverbs 27:18 KJV)
Black-naped Oriole Lowry Park Zoo by Lee
The Old World Orioles (Oriolidae – Figbirds, Orioles) are an Old World family of passerine birds that has 38 members. The orioles and figbirds are medium-sized passerines, around 20–30 cm in length, with the females only slightly smaller than the males. The beak is slightly curved and hooked, and, except in the figbirds, as long again as the head. The plumage of most species is bright and showy, although the females often have duller plumage than the males do. The plumage of many Australasian orioles mimics that of friarbirds (a genus of large honeyeaters), probably to reduce aggression against the smaller orioles. The family is distributed across Africa, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The few temperate nesting species are migratory, and some tropical species also show seasonal movements. Orioles are arboreal and tend to feed in the canopy.
The Dicruridae – Drongos has 25 species. These insectivorous birds are usually found in open forests or bush. Most are black or dark grey in colour, sometimes with metallic tints. They have long forked tails; some Asian species have elaborate tail decorations. They have short legs and sit very upright whilst perched, like a shrike. They flycatch or take prey from the ground. Some drongos, especially the greater racket-tailed drongo, are noted for their ability to mimic other birds and even mammals.
Two to four eggs are laid in a nest high in a tree. Despite their small size, they are aggressive and fearless, and will attack much larger species if their nest or young are threatened.
The word drongo is used in Australia as a mild form of insult tantamount to the term “idiot”. This usage derives from an Australian racehorse of the same name (apparently after the spangled drongo, Dicrurus bracteatus) in the 1920s that never won despite many starts. (Info from Wikipedia)
Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. (Matthew 21:21-22 KJV)
Listen to The Hyssongs play and sing as you watch these two beautifully created families of birds:
Black-faced Cuckooshrike (Coracina novaehollandiae) by Ian
Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. (Genesis 2:19 NKJV)
The cuckooshrikes and allies in the Campephagidae family are small to medium-sized passerine bird species found in the subtropical and tropical Africa, Asia and Australasia. The roughly 92 species are found in eight (or nine) genera which comprise five distinct groups, the ‘true’ cuckooshrikes (Campephaga, Coracina, Lobotos, Pteropodocys and Campochaera) the trillers (Lalage), the minivets (Pericrocotus), the flycatcher-shrikes (Hemipus). The woodshrikes (Tephrodornis) were often considered to be in this family but are probably better placed in their own family, the Tephrodornithidae, along with the philentomas and the flycatcher-shrikes.
Overall the cuckooshrikes are medium to small arboreal birds, generally long and slender. The smallest species is the small minivet at 16 cm (6.3 in) and 6-12 grams (0.2-0.4 oz), while the largest is the south Melanesian cuckooshrike at 35 cm (14 in) and 180 grams (6 oz). They are predominantly greyish with white and black, although the minivets are brightly coloured in red, yellow and black, and the blue cuckooshrike of central Africa is all-over glossy blue. The four cuckooshrikes in the genus Campephaga exhibit sexual dimorphism, with males that have glossy black plumage and bright red or yellow wattles, the females having more subdued olive-green plumage. The genus Coracina is not monophyletic.
The majority of cuckooshrike are forest birds. Some species are restricted to primary forest, like the New Caledonian cuckooshrike, others are able to use more disturbed forest. Around eleven species use much more open habitat, one Australian species, the ground cuckooshrike being found in open plains and scrubland with few trees.
The ‘true’ cuckooshrikes are usually found singly, in pairs, and in small family groups, whereas the minivets, flycatcher-shrikes and wood-shrikes more frequently form small flocks. There is a considerable amount of variation within the family as a whole with regards to calls, some call very infrequently and some, principally the minivets, are extremely vocal.
(Info from Wikipedia with editing)
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (Romans 1:20 KJV)
Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. (John 10:25 NKJV)
Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; (Ephesians 5:20 KJV)
Listen to the Hyssongs as you watch the interesting Cuckooshrike family whom the Lord created:
For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine. (Psalms 50:10-11 ESV)
The Vangas (from vanga, Malagasy for the hook-billed vanga, Vanga curvirostris) are a group of little-known small to medium-sized passerine birds restricted to Madagascar and the Comoros. They are usually classified as the family Vangidae. There are about 21 or 22 species, depending on taxonomy. Most species are shrike-like, arboreal forest birds, feeding on reptiles, frogs and insects. Several other Madagascan birds more similar to Old World warblers, Old World babblers or Old World flycatchers are now often placed in this family. Vangas differ greatly in bill shape and have a variety of foraging methods. Their stick nests are built in trees. They do not migrate.
The Bornean Bristlehead (Pityriasis gymnocephala), also variously known as the bristled shrike, bald-headed crow or the bald-headed wood-shrike, is the only member of the passerine family Pityriaseidae and genus Pityriasis. It is an enigmatic and uncommon species of the rainforest canopy of the island of Borneo, to which it is endemic.
White-breasted Woodswallow (Artamus leucorynchus amydrus) by Lee ZM
Woodswallows are soft-plumaged, somber-coloured passerine birds. There are 24 a single genus, Artamus, The woodswallows are either treated as a subfamily, Artaminae in an expanded family Artamidae, which includes the butcherbirds and Australian Magpie, or as the only genus in that family. The generic name, which in turn gives rise to the family name, is derived from the Ancient Greek artamos, meaning butcher or murder. The name was given due to their perceived similarity to shrikes, indeed a former common name for the group was “swallow-starlings”
Woodswallows are smooth, agile flyers with moderately large, semi-triangular wings. They are among the very few passerines birds that soar, and can often be seen feeding just above the treetops. One sedentary species aside, they are nomads, following the best conditions for flying insects, and often roosting in large flocks.
Although woodswallows have a brush-tipped tongue they seldom use it for gathering nectar.
The Mottled Whistler (Rhagologus leucostigma) is a species of bird whose relationships are unclear but most likely related to the woodswallows, boatbills and butcherbirds. It is monotypic within the genus Rhagologus and family Rhagologidae. It is found in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, where its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests
Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia) by Clement Francis
The Ioras (Aegithinidae) are a small family of four passerine bird species found in India and southeast Asia. The Ioras are small to medium small sized passerines, ranging from 11.5 to 15.5 cm (4.5–6.1 in) in length. Overall the males are larger than the females. These are reminiscent of the bulbuls, but whereas that group tends to be drab in colouration, the ioras are more brightly colored. The group exhibits sexual dimorphism in its plumage, with the males being brightly plumaged in yellows and greens. Unlike the leafbirds, ioras have thin legs, and their bills are proportionately longer. Calls are strident whistles; songs are musical to human ears.
Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. (Mark 9:23 KJV)
Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believeand are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. (John 6:67-69 KJV)
Listen to the Hyssongs as you watch these five different families the Lord has created for us to enjoy.